** CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: ** Ferry service to Cumberland Island National Seashore from St. Marys, Georgia was suspended back on March 18, 2020 due to the pandemic. After more than a three month closure, the ferry resumed operation June 26, 2020. Due to COVID-19, new precautions in place starting June 26th include requiring passengers to wear a mask. The ferry will be operating at 2/3 capacity (up to 100 passengers plus crew). Camping within the National Seashore reopens July 6, 2020.
Is There A Ferry From Amelia Island?
Even though these two barrier islands are located in very close proximity at the Florida-Georgia border, there is no direct ferry service from Florida to visit Georgia’s Cumberland Island National Seashore. (The exception is a private ferry from Fernandina Harbor Marina for guests of the Greyfield Inn.)
Where To Catch National Park Service Ferry?
The ferry to Cumberland Island National Seashore, under normal conditions, departs from St. Marys, GA at 9 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. daily (7 days a week), during spring and summer seasons. The ferry schedule for spring and summer begins March 1st and continues through Sept. 30th each year. (Ferry schedule further below with return trip times).
Mar. 1 – Sept. 30, 2020 Daily Ferry Times
|Leave St. Marys, GA||Arrive Cumberland||Depart Cumberland||Arrive St. Marys, GA|
|9 a.m.||9:45 a.m.||10:15 a.m.||11 a.m.|
|11:45 a.m.||12:30 p.m.||2:45 p.m. (Mon-Sat)||3:30 p.m.|
|4:45 p.m.||5:30 p.m|
The 10:15 a.m. ferry departing from Cumberland Island is utilized by overnight campers.
How Long Is Ferry Ride?
It’s a 45-minute ferry ride to Cumberland Island from St. Marys, Georgia.
Since Hurricane Irma, an alternative ferry dock in St. Marys (the “Gateway Dock” pictured), is still being utilized. This requires a bit more time for parking and walking to the dock. It’s about three blocks away from the NPS Cumberland Island Visitor’s Center where ferry passengers check in before departure.
Cost To Go To Cumberland Island?
The cost for a round trip ferry ticket to Cumberland Island National Seashore, with taxes and fees, for an adult passenger is $34.10 (advance ferry ticket reservations can be booked online). There’s also a $10 National Park Service admittance fee. Thus, the total cost for one adult to visit Cumberland Island for a day trip is $44.10. Visitors must bring over their own day’s supply of food/snacks/beverages — there are no stores. Also, there are no trash receptacles on Cumberland Island. It’s a pack in, pack out policy, so everything you bring onto the island must be carried back off when departing. See also Amelia Island Living’s collection of articles about Cumberland Island for more news.
Directions To St. Mary’s Ferry
When driving from Amelia Island, Florida to catch the St. Mary’s, Georgia ferry service, plan for 45 minutes to an hour’s drive (depending on traffic). For GPS or Google maps, enter the Cumberland Island Visitor Center’s address: 113 St. Marys Street West, St. Marys, GA 31558.
Arrive Early To Check In
Even those with advance reservations for the National Park Service ferry are advised to arrive early. According to the NPS website, “All unclaimed ferry reservations will be cancelled 30 minutes prior to departure and those spots will be offered to walk-in visitors.” The Park Service and ferry concessionaire advise ferry reservation holders to arrive in St. Marys, GA one hour early before departure time, to check in at the Visitor’s Center. Questions? Call the NPS at 912-882-4336.
Cumberland Island News During COVID-19
To follow the National Seashore’s status during the coronavirus pandemic, updates are posted at the Cumberland Island National Seashore Facebook page. Questions? Call Cumberland Island National Seashore’s mainland office in St. Marys at 912-882-4336 x254 (from 8 AM to 4 PM) .
Read related article by Amelia Island Living with travel tips about what to expect and how to prepare for an island adventure, “Cumberland Island, Delightful Day Trip.”
Cumberland Island Camping
Thinking about a camping excursion on Cumberland? Read about Cumberland Island’s five campgrounds, two developed and three wilderness sites.